Maths is cool message to school pupils from accountants

2013-11-04 00:00

MATHS is cool. This is what the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), an accountancy body, is trying to tell pupils across SA.

SAICA is one of many bodies that are trying to push pupils to pursue pure maths instead of the easier maths literacy.

According to a report released recently, based on an investigation of the Department of Basic Education’s implementation of its maths, science and technology strategy, pupils are often moved to maths literacy instead of being given extra help in problem areas in mathematics.

The investigation found that schools force the change to maths literacy to acquire adequate pass rates.

The report noted that pupils are forced to select maths literacy, but are allowed to continue with physical science in spite of maths literacy not teaching enough to perform the calculations required in physics.

“This, in turn, impacts severely on science pass rates.

“Too many pupils are allowed to select combinations such as physical science and mathematical literacy, believing that this will allow entry to [tertiary institutions],” the report said.

From last month, SAICA and HDI Youth Marketeers have been conducting initiatives including an interactive road show to schools in KwaZulu-Natal, trying to encourage pupils to pursue pure maths. The provincial Department of Education also rolled out a massive subject education campaign to prevent pupils from taking incorrect subject combinations that could hamper their tertiary advancement.

The report says that many Grade 12 pupils have been trapped into taking physical science or accounting with maths literacy, which is insufficient for university standards.

One of SAICA’s aims is to increase the number of schools and pupils it engages with in promoting maths and the chartered accounting profession.

SAICA spokesperson Yuven Goun­den said their drive was intended to promote maths as a fun subject and to advise Grade 8 and 9 pupils to choose pure maths rather than maths literacy.

SAICA’s programme involves using drama to promote maths as a fun and necessary part of everyday life.

Both SAICA and HDI cited statistics that paint a dire picture of the country’s state of maths.

“South Africa spent over 19,6% of its 2012 budget on education, which places it at the higher end of the global spectrum. Yet the return on investment has been abysmal. In the World Economic Forum’s 2012/2013 Global Competitiveness Report, South Africa’s education system is ranked 140 out of 144 countries. Worse, South Africa’s mathematics and science education is ranked 143 out of 144 countries,” they said.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.